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Gout is a type of arthritis involving pain and inflammation due to build up of uric acid crystals in joints. Uric acid is metabolised when our body cells die, get recycled and the natural substance in the cell, purine, is broken down. This is a natural process of a cell breakdown and it is the main contributor of uric acid in the body. Another way uric acid is created is when the body breaks down food and drinks. Some foods are that purine rich include red meat such as bacon, beef, veal and venison, seafood such as sardines, herrings, mussels, codfish, scallops, trout and haddock, meat organs like liver and all alcohols. Medium purine rich foods are meats such as beef, chicken, duck, pork, and ham.

Most uric acid is dissolved in the blood, filtered out by the Kidneys and passed out of the body in the urine and a small amount passes through the stool. When there's too much uric acid for the Kidneys to filter, the amount in the blood increases. This leads to creating uric crystals within joints and painful conditions called gout. It will also cause kidney stones or kidney failure if left untreated.

The most common form of gout is usually at the big toe joint and occurs with symptoms like swelling, inflammation, redness and heat, various types of pain and sensitivity to touch and pressure. However, in most patients it affects all joints.

In TICM, dampness and heat create stagnation of energy (Qi) and blood which result in symptoms relating to high uric acid levels mentioned above like gout, arthritis, kidney stones and kidney failure. Dampness refers to swelling and oedema associated with gout, including uric acid crystal build up in tissues. Heat is a much broader term, but it refers to inflammation in this case.

Stagnation of energy (Qi) and blood can also be a result to the body being weakened due to an attack of wind, cold and dampness which will affect areas like the feet and hands. When the feet and hands are penetrated by wind, cold and dampness, energy (Qi) and blood circulation become stagnant.

Hijama detox of all body organs along with lymphatic drainage as well as hijama on all joints.

Acupuncture on Kidney, Spleen, Liver channels using appropriate detox, heat releasing and damp draining points. Acupuncture offers an effective and is well tolerated alternative to NSAID’s. I use electro-acupuncture especially on men. Acupuncture also reduces swelling, improves both serum uric acid and IL-8 levels and had a low risk of causing adverse reactions compared with indomethacin.

Chinese herbal medicine according to individual diagnosis greatly reduce pain and inflammation making it great addition to healing gout.

Stay away from gluten, sugar, alcohol, red meats, GMO corn and dairy as these are all inflammatory foods.

It is helpful to eat alkaline forming foods like leafy greens, and warm your Spleen with congee, sweet potatoes or oatmeal in the morning.

Eat whole food, Mediterranean approach remembering to drink more water. Have cooling foods such as cucumber, barley, mung greens and bitter gourd to clear heat from the body.

Kidneys love foods that are dark in colour such as Kidney beans and black beans. The darker or blacker the better.

Black cherries treat gout. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism evaluated 633 individuals with gout who were treated with cherry extract over a two-day period. This cherry treatment was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks. Cherries also reduce inflammation as they are one of the top anti-inflammatory fruits.

Anti-inflammatory foods such as: extra virgin olive oil as it contains olecanthal, broccoli sprouts contain glucosinolates, raw fermented foods, act as Liver probiotics, green tea is advised for gout due to epigallocatechin gallate but do not consume if you are prone to headaches and migraines, berries such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries as they contain anthocyanins, pure coffee for chlorogenic acid, turmeric for curcumin. Porcini mushrooms for its glutathione and wild salmon for EPA omega 3 fat.

Dandelion tea for Liver and Kidney detox.

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